Follow Your Dreams


Have you ever woke up in the morning, mad at your current situation instead of doing something that you love? Are you content in your day-to-day life and lack motivation to change? Even if you want to change what’s around you, do you feel that the obstacles in your path takes too much time and energy to overcome?

I feel like many of us have the same issues and are in similar situations. Well, I found our motivation. If this doesn’t inspire you or give you a spark to change your current situation, I’m not sure what will. His name is Shaquem Griffin.

Griffin was a linebacker at the University of Central Florida. The first time I saw him on television was this past December when UCF was playing the Memphis Tigers in the American Championship Game. He caught my attention because he only has one hand. Come to find out, his hand was amputated at age 4 but that didn’t stopped him from playing sports. He was making plays and helped his team win the football game.

He’s currently at the NFL combine pursuing his dream of playing in the NFL. Even though he wasn’t initially invited, Griffin has made the most of his opportunity this far.

His 40 yard dash time is the fastest by any linebacker since they started keeping track back in 2003. He had went above and beyond many people’s expectations.

Shaquem has inspired me to continue to pursue my dreams even at times I don’t feel motivated. He’s actions during the NFL combine has spoken volumes across the football community. It’s people like him who doesn’t let anything get in his way to achieve what he’s trying to accomplish. In life, a lot more people will tell you “no, you can’t…” or “you don’t have…” or “you’re not able…” instead of believing in your goals and dreams. I have nothing but respect for him, and I want him to succeed at the next level. Let his current story inspire you to do what you always wanted to do, even if it’s against all odds.

JGOOD

A Rose With Thorns


When Michael Jordan retired, Tracy McGrady became my favorite player in the NBA. He was unguardable. When you’re 6’8 with a long wingspan, that can shoot, attack, post-up, rebound, and create for others, you can’t be stopped. The only that did stop him was injuries. Besides the fact he was never the same player, he never played for my favorite team.

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When Derrick Rose was drafted to the Chicago Bulls in 2008, I instantly became a fan. Once I saw his energy and heart, him and McGrady shared being my favorites in the NBA. 

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Rose became the engine of the organization. He gave hope to a franchise that has been in the cellar since the Jordan era. I mean, yes we had the “Baby Bulls” but we weren’t a title contender then. D.Rose elevated the expectations in the city. We, as Chicago fans, “Bullieved” that we can return to the glory days. Nobody was more important and had a bigger impact for a team than Rose was during his MVP season in 2011.

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Rose has had his number of injuries including a torn ACL and a torn meniscus. Even then, Rose showed his efforts of fighting through rigorous rehabilitation to try to get back to MVP form. This past season, he looked like his explosiveness was back to elite status more times than not.

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It’s sad that he has carried the weight of his city on his back for so many years (he didn’t have any help for multiple seasons) that when he finally has help, his career is derailed by injuries. Also, a lot of fans have turned on him because he’s not the Derrick Rose that they are used to seeing (even though he’s been in the top 5 in jersey sales since his MVP season).

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The fact that my favorite player, who happens to play on my favorite team (also born and raised in Chicago), is traded away, it takes something out of you. My Bulls didn’t play well last year and that probably won’t change this year (pending something drastic). With Rose gone, that extra nudge… that determination, dedication, motivation… that initial spark that generated hope for the city just died.

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And what a lot of people don’t know is that not only he was humble on the court, he was humble off the court as well. Rose was active in the community. He paid for a funeral for a kid that was murdered. He spoke up for the teachers of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) who went on strike. D.Rose also donated money to help bring up the community.

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Now that he belongs to the New York Knicks, I’m torn. I will always be a Bulls fan, but I will buy a Derrick Rose Knicks jersey and/or shirt. He will continue to be my favorite player. Also, I hope he has career nights against the Bulls just to show management that they made a mistake. He has too much heart to give up and too much motivation to fail.

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JGOOD